Module code: ENGM319

Module Overview

This module constitutes the final output of the MSc. It is structured as a “Review Essay”, which should be of publishable quality in a peer-reviewed journal. It is similar to a mini-dissertation but will not require new research to be carried out. The student will need to identify a topic of interest based on the various modules completed. 
The methodological support will be given through 12 dedicated live sessions, which will focus mostly on how to write for an academic audience. Moreover, the student will be able to build on the dedicated methodology units woven into each module of the programme. 
After identifying the topic, he/she will need to analyze the relevant literature and then, based on that, address a “sustainability problem” by making use of practical real-life examples. Word count: max 5,000 words.

Module provider

SOL - Sustainability, Civil and Env Eng

Module Leader

FIORAMONTI Lorenzo (Sust & CEE)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 228

Tutorial Hours: 12

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

This module is based on the production of a publishable-quality final essay. The student will need to choose one of the modules he/she has completed and then discuss specific content and topic of the essay with the relevant lecturer/tutor. The structure of the module should loosely follow this structure: 
ABSTRACT (max 150 words).
INTRODUCTION (max 800 words).
LITERATURE REVIEW (max 1500 words).
CASE STUDY (max 2000 words).
CONCLUSION (max 700 words).

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Individual written assignment 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to:
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate: analytical, critical thinking and writing skills and subject knowledge and interest.
The summative assessment for this module consists of the evaluation of the academic quality of the final Review Essay (100% of module mark). Students will have an opportunity to receive direct feedback from their chosen supervisors (based on the chosen topic) through regular live sessions during the final year of the course (as it is a Year Long module).

Module aims

  • Allow the student to show the necessary skills needed to summarize the scientific and policy debate on a topic of choice (to be agreed upon with the relevant supervisor).
  • Allow the student to clearly link the analysis to one or more real-life case studies, thus connecting theoretical knowledge with concrete examples.
  • Test the student ability to address a ¿sustainability problem¿ in an academic manner and merge scientific and practical knowledge to produce a readable and publishable quality output.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 The student will have acquired an academic understanding of the basic principles of sustainable development in practice. KC
002 The student will have demonstrated the ability to review the relevant scientific literature. KC
003 The student will have acquired the methodological skills to write an essay of publishable quality. KC
004 The student will demonstrate the necessary writing and argumentative skills to discuss a "sustainability problem" from an academic perspective. KCPT
005 The student will engage in debates about definitions, challenges and real-life implementations of sustainable development. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Students will learn the necessary skills to complete the Review Essay by attending the other modules, each of which will provide the key content as well as the methodological information needed to conduct desktop literature reviews and structure the essay academically. A reader-friendly guide focusing on “how to write for an academic audience” will be produced in collaboration with the Learning Development team of the University of Surrey and made available to all students. Moreover, there will be 12 live sessions dedicated specifically to acquiring the necessary skills to write for an academic audience. These collective sessions will run throughout the year and will cover the following units, which each topic presented twice:

  1. How to identify a research topic and the appropriate methodology.

  2. Writing for an academic audience: structure and style.

  3. How to access online resources.

  4. How to organize a literature review.

  5. How to identify and analyse a case study.

  6. How to cite resources and structure a bibliography.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM319

Other information

The Institute for Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:
Digital Capabilities: by using databases, engaging in online data collection, reviewing digital information and completing an essay of academic quality. 
Employability: by developing presentation skills, policy-writing techniques, reflection skills, project and research management skills. 
Global and Cultural capabilities: by the nature of the module, students are exposed to different global and cultural contexts surrounding “sustainability problems”.  
Resourcefulness and Resilience: in tacking the assignment students will have to come up with their own study, collect and analyse evidence, find their own primary sources and academic literature beyond the prescribed readings and circumvent obstacles in the research process. 
Sustainability: by the nature of this module, students engage in a deep dive into the world of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) hence, sustainability as a concept and approach is enshrined in each and every topic of the module.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Sustainable Development in Practice (Online) MSc(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.